July is national Ice Cream Month. To get you in the spirit, here’s a fun story found in Fold3’s WWII War Diaries collection. It tells of the popularity of ice cream on board the USS Kitty Hawk during World War II:
One of the amusing stories in this connection concerns a passenger who requested ice cream at 1600 of our first afternoon underway, homeward bound. The operator of the Ship’s Service Store ice cream plant informed this passenger that the ice cream was sold out but that some more was being mixed which would be fairly hard by 1900. The passenger replied as follows: “As long as I have waited two years for ice cream, I guess I can wait another three hours.” So, like waiting to purchase a ticket to the World Series, the Marine waited until he got his ice cream, though he missed his dinner to do it.
Lines of men waiting for ice cream became so long that they interfered with the cleaning of the mess hall and crew’s compartment. Owing to this the ice cream stand is opened only for a few hours each day. We have managed to shorten the lines by reducing the sales of ice cream by the scoop and by putting it in quart cartons and #10 tins. […] For one man to eat a quart of ice cream is common; for two men to polish off a #10 tin, a little more than three quarts, is not unusual; but six passengers had the largest appetite who, between them, have been reserving a five gallon container every day for the past four days. Yesterday two of them dropped out but the four remaining took their five gallons of ice cream without turning a hair.
So when we say food will win the war, we, of course, mean the term to include milk and ice cream. A Distinguished Service Cross and an extra scoop of bran for the contented cow.
For more ice cream fun, check out the WWII photos below:
- A corporal making ice cream in China
- Paratroopers enjoying ice cream in Sicily
- Servicemen celebrating with ice cream in the Philippines
- A soldier with an ice-cream-covered grin at a children’s Christmas party in England
- An airman getting his ice cream at Christmas dinner in the South Pacific